|Yes, those are the Andes in the background|
I got the opportunity as a result of an invitation from Maria Elena Ducci of Ciudad Viva, a NGO based in Santiago. http://www.ciudadviva.cl/ She got my name from a colleague in Toronto who was a friend of a friend. At any rate, I'm glad she did.
I've spent the week advising on a project they are undertaking that is looking at what makes three retail developments in the city successful urban places. One is La Vega public market http://www.saveur.com/article/Travels/Saveur-100-La-Vega-Santiago; one is an older shopping mall developed by MallPlaza; and the third is a shopping area in Providencia, an upscale mixed use neighbourhood where I am staying.
During the course of the past week I have been shown around by some very bright, interesting students, made a couple of presentations at two universities, and explored a variety of neighbourhoods. I have a good appreciation of the city's contrasts, noting you can't see that much of a city with a population of 5 million in a week.
So here are some of my photo albums. Hopefully they convey a very busy place, with a lot of run down areas that shouldn't be run down; as well as some very beautiful, sophisticated, affluent places.
It's a city experiencing incredible auto congestion, but one where cycling is starting to become more popular. Helmets are mandatory in Chile, but few wear them. There are few bike paths, but lots of bike storage facilities at shopping centres, transit hubs, and outside department stores.
The people strike me as being very warm, and greet one another, including strangers with a kiss on the cheek. Suffice it to say, I was a bit startled when one of my students so greeted me on my first morning. As I told her professor, in Canada, teachers get fired for lessor things than that!
|We're in great company. Now why do we charge Chileans to visit Canada?|
|To use the new public toilet in La Vega market...a pretty rough area, you scan the barcode on your $300 ticket (about 55 cents)|
|Saw this bicycle storage facility at a major shopping centre|
|This is a city of art and culture. Lots of museums, murals and sculptures. I liked this piece on a sound wall barrier|
|This shopping centre addition is as beautiful as anything I have seen in Canada. Though at the moment it's not that busy, when compared to other parts of the same mall.|
|The search for sustainability has arrived in Santiago. Lots of green walls and |LEED certified developments, though not in comparison to Vancouver|
|The School of Architecture at the Catholic University where Maria Elena teaches and where I hung out for a few days|
|There aren't flowers everywhere like this, but they were here...|
|A new bicycle storage facility near the metro, near a shopping centre. I was told that eventually someone can use their transit card to lock their bike. (This needs to be verified)|
|The street on which my hotel is located...with some very special street trees|
|Hotel Orly, a highly rated small boutique hotel. Very welcoming, cozy, nice common areas, but I suspect some rooms are nicer than others.|
|I should have known what this symbol meant, but still had to ask!|
|A 42 km riverfront walkway/bikeway is underway. It will be an improvement|
|La Vega market...|
|Santa Lucia, built by a Mayor in the late 19th C by enlisting 150 prisoners. (I think there's an idea there...)|
|The view of a portion of the older downtown from Santa Lucia....there is a new downtown that is more beautiful than Vancouver's|
|One of the few bike lanes that I saw on the road...|
|Just three of the many remarkable people I have met over the past week. Thanks to all of you.|